What’s a drone IMU?

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An IMU is an inertial measurement unit works by detecting the current rate of acceleration using one or more accelerometers. The IMU detects changes in rotational attributes like pitch, roll and yaw using one or more gyroscopes. Some IMU’s also include a magnetometer, mostly to assist calibration against orientation drift.

A computer continually calculates the vehicle’s current position. First, it integrates the sensed acceleration, together with an estimate of gravity, to calculate the current velocity. Then it integrates the velocity to calculate the current position.

IMU Within The Flight Controller

DJI Naza Flight Controller With IMU and Gyro StabilizationThe flight controller is made up of many components and provides many functions. It is the central brain of the drone.  So, we can now see that the Gyroscope is a component of the IMU and the IMU is an essential component of a drones flight control system.

Flight controllers are not just hardware.  They are also controlled by sophisticated software programs and mathematical algorithms.  All components within the flight controller must work seamlessly together for the drone to navigate and fly with the utmost of stability.

Here are just some of the functions in the DJI A2 flight controller with the gyroscope and IMU providing essential functions;

  • Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC)
  • Points Of Interest flight mode (POI)
  • Intelligent landing gear function
  • Auto return to home
  • Multi Rotor fail protection
  • Highly sensitive built-in damper IMU module
  • High precision satellite receiver
  • Banked Turn Mode & Cruise Control Feature
  • Built-In Bluetooth Module and Support for Mobile Parameter Adjustments.

Gyroscope Technology Within The IMU

In the vast majority of drones, the gyroscope is encompassed or integrated within the IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit).  The IMU along with  satellite positioning (GPS and GLONASS) are also components of the overall drone flight controller.

 

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